Confession time: I have a problem with books. Like, I have about 4 dozen too many. Books I will never use, books I had to have, books that were simply too cheap to not earn a place
in a box in my father's attic never to be seen again on my book shelf. So, even though I am seeing other bloggers cook their way through cook books I want, am reading intersting reviews on cook books I really want to try, and am adding all sorts of new books to the ever growing wish list I am not allowing myself one more book purchase. Sure, if the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny are going to bring them by, I'm not going to turn them away, but until I work my way through a few dozen of these and donate some others, it's time for a lifestyle change before some PR rep thinks its a good idea to make a reality show about recipe organizing. (Remind me to fight for a cut of that when it's a hit on HGN).
My favorite cook books are ones from used book stores, with stains and notes written into the pages, with pages stuck together from dried remnants of recipes made ages ago. The books that smell like old coffee and that something familiar that comforts you but you can't put your finger on. Those are the books I turn to when I need to learn how to make something new. The dog eared pages from my boyfriends mom on the perfect key lime pie, the bread book from 1977, and the old Southern Living Annuals. Those books will never leave my book shelves. So, do I really need more? New shiny ones with glossy pictures are nice, and someday I'm sure I'll lift my book ban and add them to my collection, but for now, it's time to get back to the books I love.
Like Baked (yes, this is a relatively new book, but if you haven't added it to your collection yet, you don'y know what your missing out on). My copy is slathered in butter, sticky with crumbs and has notations on many of the quality recipes inside. Like my fathers tiny Hershey's cookbook, this will be one my family looks at and has fond memories of years from now.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
For the Crumb Topping:
- ¾ cup flour
- ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ½ teas salt
- ¾ cup pecans, toasted
- 6 tbs unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1" cubes
For the Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl:
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teas dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teas cinnamon
For the Sour Cream Cake:
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 teas baking powder
- 1 ½ teas baking soda
- ½ teas salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into 1" pieces
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 16 oz sour cream
- 1 ½ teas pure vanilla extract
Make the Crumb Topping: Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds to mix. Add the pecans and pulse until the pecans are finely chopped and thoroughly incorporated, about 15 1 second pulses.
Add the butter and pulse until combined.You're going for a mixture that looks like very coarse sand. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator.
Make the Cinnamon Swirl: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon and set aside.
Make the Sour Cream Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13" baking pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth, about three minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and add the sugar. Beat until smooth and starts to look fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each and scraping the sides as needed.
Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. Add the flour mixture in three additions until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.
Pour one third of the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out with an offset spatula. Cover with half of the cinnamon swirl mixture.
Pour one half of the remaining batter over the swirl mixture. and spread evenly again. Sprinkle remaining swirl mixture evenly over and top with the remaining batter. Top with the crumb topping. Go heavy on your crumb topping as most of it will bake into the cake.
Bake for 1 hour, rotating half way through cooking time, until golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving.